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What are the downsides of flunking out of college vs. not going at all?


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#51 ktgrok

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 04:11 PM

If I hold him back, that's six years of high school.  Plus, I have to work full time to put bread on the table, and his anxiety about academics doesn't lead to success to independent work, and the isolation isn't helping the mental illness.  I don't know what he needs, but I do know that more academics from me isn't it. 

 

I think we have the same kid. Hugs. 


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#52 GoodGrief

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 04:15 PM


 

 

My daughter's now-husband was in a similar situation coming out of high school. He did go to college for a year, out-of-state, which did not go well. The following year he went to training to earn his CDL. That allowed him to get a solid job and earn enough money to become independent while figuring out what he really wants to do. In fact, he has the job with benefits and is supporting my daughter who has a college degree while she does an Americorps position :-). He is now, at age 25, going back to school part time, and earning high "A"s so far!

There are risks to any path, honestly, when there's untreated mental illness/anxiety/depression in play. But poor grades in college will certainly follow him, and make the path to employment difficult. I would look at entering a trade, at least for the time being. We need smart kids in the trades. I suppose you could look at CNA, but you are correct, the pay is low. I worked as a CNA while I was in college.There are advantages to nursing (speaking as someone who worked as an RN for 9 years) but there are solid negatives as well, especially considering the pay rate as compared to some of the trades.
 

Edited to delete quote, sorry about that.


Edited by GoodGrief, 14 November 2017 - 04:16 PM.

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#53 Lori D.

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 04:17 PM

...There are risks to any path, honestly, when there's untreated mental illness/anxiety/depression in play. But poor grades in college will certainly follow him, and make the path to employment difficult...

 

This is what I was thinking, too.

 

  :grouphug:  Daria   :grouphug:

 

 

 

None of the local colleges have the kind of support that the schools we're looking at have.  He clearly doesn't have the skills to be successful at our local CC.  It's not the academic skills that he's missing... It's the problem solving and self advocacy...

 

...At the programs we'd be looking at, students meet every single day with a disability counselor/coach.  That's a huge difference. 

 

...I think he's much more likely to be successful in college if he goes away, then if he stays home.  So the question is really go away, or don't go to college at all.

 

 

... My guess is that a disability counselor/coach who on staff at a college, has access to everything, and is working directly with professors would have a better chance of catching things early and being able to help him find a solution, then one from the outside.  

 

 

... [which would] give him what he wants, which is the experience of going away and a peer group...

 

If there is a program with that much daily individual support, and your student wants to go, then it sounds like your student would have the very best shot at success by going. Perhaps the thing to do then, is to use the remainder of this school year to work on the mental health issues with the student, to get the student stable, and with as many tools as possible for how to handle things/what to do, if/when things go sideways in the future...

 

BEST wishes! Warmest regards, Lori D.


Edited by Lori D., 14 November 2017 - 04:25 PM.

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#54 Daria

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 04:26 PM

What are the stipulations that the relative is putting on the money for college?  Does the relative insist that it be used within a certain period of time?  Does the relative require certain grades to continue to support a college education?  What all is the relative willing to support relative to college--tuition, books, room & board, tutors, travel???

 

Another question I would be seriously considering is whether the student is ready academically for college-level work.  Yes, a certain level of maturity is a requirement.  But, academic preparation is also required.  I would be less concerned about his dual enrollment grades (and attribute them to maturity) if he had demonstrated that he is competent at high school work.  

 

The money can go to any school, but it needs to go to a school.  So room, board, tuition, supplemental programs for the ADHD.  That kind of thing.  There are no grade stipulations.  It's not changeable, because it's legally tied up, but there's no time limit.  If he didn't use it, then it would be there for his children to use, or theoretically another relative, but he's the only child of his generation.  He's my only kid, my siblings don't have kids, and I don't have first cousins on that side of the family. 

 

His academic skills are pretty average, with a relative strength in reading/writing and a relative weakness in math, which means at the schools we're looking at, that serve mostly kids with LD, he'd be near the top.  His ACT scores are about 7 points higher than the average at most of them.  I think that's a good place for him to be.  He'd need the academics to be easy so he could focus on the mental health piece.  

 

It's not maturity.  I feel like I keep saying that, and people keep missing it.  This has nothing to do with maturity.  


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#55 Daria

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 04:28 PM

There are risks to any path, honestly, when there's untreated mental illness/anxiety/depression in play. 

 

He doesn't have untreated mental illness. But mental health treatment is like physical health treatment, it's not magic.  Sometimes someone can be seeing great providers, and taking medication as prescribed, and still have significant symptoms.  


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#56 KungFuPanda

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 04:30 PM

 

 

 

 

If he goes away, it would either have to be some place open admissions, or it would be one of the handful of really tiny schools that specialize in kids with LD/ADHD and offer a lots of support in the form of tutors, and coaches, and tiny classes.  I don't think the former would work at all, but the latter might, I guess.  It also might not.

 

 

Any other suggestions for programs that would get him out of the house, and into a group setting?

 

 

Peace Corps is very selective. 

 

The military comes up as a suggestion a lot, but I don't think that the U.S. military is (or should be) in the business of rehabilitating people with significant mental illness.  My kid is sweet as pie, and wouldn't hurt a flea intentionally, but he's not the right person to be keeping track of a deadly weapon, and a tendency to anxiety attacks would a major liability in any kind of crisis.  

 

I get that.  I was in the military.  I didn't realize we were dealing with a 'significant mental illness.'  I was basing my suggestions on the snippets from the top post.  Sometimes people who don't care for a school setting do really well in the more hands-on educational environment of the military as long as they don't land in an MOS that demands significant time behind a desk.  Even though my own military experience was about as classroom centered as you can get, there was still much more structure and guidance than you'd see in college.  Without bills and food and tuition to stress about it can be a good fit for people who thrive with a ton of structure when that structure doesn't demand you sit in a chair most of your day.  The exercise is a real NEED for that age group.  It's also a lot of fun for people who are suited to group living situations.  

 

There ARE other living and working communities out there but they're just not as well known.  A cousin of mine works in Alaska seasonally and makes excellent money while he's there.  His living situation is barracks-like.  Another friend's 'difficult' kid scored some group living thing with a native american community.  For your particular kid, maybe having a regular job for a while will help him meet people, mature, and save some money towards college when he's ready.  If he can't make the grades or hold down  a job, he won't suddenly become capable because he's in a new environment.  There's a difference between a kid who is just goofing off finally stepping up and a kid who has NEVER demonstrated the ability to cope in a classroom without significant parental oversight.  You could loose a LOT of money that way.  I'm particularly sensitive to that risk because my daughter is away at college and took all of our money with her.   :glare:


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#57 GoodGrief

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 04:41 PM

He doesn't have untreated mental illness. But mental health treatment is like physical health treatment, it's not magic.  Sometimes someone can be seeing great providers, and taking medication as prescribed, and still have significant symptoms.  

 

I understand completely. My oldest has/had significant issues with depression/anxiety/PTSD to the point of needing residential treatment while in college. I did not remember reading he was receiving treatment, so I apologize for the misunderstanding.

 

I will modify my original thoughts to say that with depression/anxiety (or any chronic health condition) in play, any path is a risk, be it college, or doing something else. He might do fine in college. But the risk of poor grades can follow him permanently, and he should take that into consideration when choosing which risk to take.

 

FWIW, my oldest did better in college than she did at home and working (which was her summer plan).The structure and independence of college was a positive for her in some ways. But she was a pretty good student prior to entering college too.


Edited by GoodGrief, 14 November 2017 - 04:42 PM.


#58 Arctic Mama

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 04:45 PM

This is not an ethical option. College applications ask that you list all previous colleges attended. You also have to have all transcripts sent to the admissions office. If you fail to do this, then your application could be disqualified, or, if you are admitted, the admission could later be rescinded and any earned credits invalidated. Leaving off this information is not recommended by any reputable college admissions counselor or high school counselors.

Depends on how it is phrased. You can omit any job or experience you want, but you cannot claim to attend a program you didn’t. I’m not talking about applying to another college with an aid package, but an employment situation down the road. Though I did actually go on to another school and asked to be enrolled again as a freshman, not transferring any credits even though many would have applied. That is the only time I’ve ever had to provide that transcript, and it didn’t hurt a thing.

I regularly omit one of my colleges from my applications, it’s never been an issue.

Edited by Arctic Mama, 14 November 2017 - 04:52 PM.

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#59 Heigh Ho

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 04:48 PM

 

 

It's not maturity.  I feel like I keep saying that, and people keep missing it.  This has nothing to do with maturity.  

 

I believe it has to do with maturity because the goal per post #40 is to go away to college for social reasons, to any college that would accept the applicant. That's not a mature viewpoint of the purpose of college and what college can do for his goals.  Additionally, to grow the self direction and EF skills to the level needed for college academic, social, and emotional success, time to mature is needed.

Also, consider that he isn't going to be in a situation where he is the only anxious student. Some of the people he meets will be substance abusing to cope. Many will be stressed, trying to make it due to poor  academic prep with loan renewal hanging over them.  And his classmates are going to be working and studying; they won't have to time to fill in for his parent. His R.A. may miss critical things due to not being present 24/7.


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#60 Daria

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 05:08 PM

I believe it has to do with maturity because the goal per post #40 is to go away to college for social reasons, to any college that would accept the applicant. That's not a mature viewpoint of the purpose of college and what college can do for his goals.  Additionally, to grow the self direction and EF skills to the level needed for college academic, social, and emotional success, time to mature is needed.

 

He wants to go to "any college", because he knows his options will be very limited.  Insisting on a certain school or school that meets certain criteria would be immature, when realistically he needs to go where he can get in, and where he will get the support needed. So, when I say "Do you want to go to Beacon in Florida, or Landmark in VT? He doesn't say 'Oh, I like warm weather'".  He says "do you think I could get in?  Do they have good supports?  Then I am happy to go there."  That's not immature.

 

As far as social reasons, preferring to live with people your own age, and not with mom, is not a sign of immaturity.  Most adults feel that way.  I don't mean he wants to go to school to party.  I mean he wants to be around other people, do things with other people, rather than being alone the way he is now.  

 

The self direction and EF issues are due to mental illness. Time and age don't improve mental illness they way they do for self direction and EF issues caused by ADHD or adolescence. The assumption that the issues will be better down the road, simply doesn't apply here.  That's what I mean when I say that this isn't "maturity".  That doesn't mean that he doesn't, in many ways, resemble a younger person.  He does.  Likely he always will.  

 

ETA:  One reason I feel strongly that the issues aren't maturity related is that he is significantly worse than he was in early 8th grade (before the MI appeared) or in 10th grade (when I pulled him out of school to homeschool the first time).  Not just worse relative to his peers, but worse in an absolute sense.  There are things he could do without difficulty in 8th grade, that are very hard now in 13th grade. 


Edited by Daria, 14 November 2017 - 05:48 PM.

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#61 unsinkable

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 05:22 PM

What would be the advantages that you'd see?

I figured he'd still dorm but in your town. Lots of kids do this. So he'd be close to you as a support person. But not an academic support person, just as a mom.

But if the local colleges don't have the academic supports, I figured you could hire someone. I used to know a woman who was a personal special education counselor to college kids, hired by their parents. The schools (public colleges) and the professors knew about her and were willing to work with her bc she helped their student retention.

LMK and I'll delete the rest of your post. I wanted you to know what I was addressing.

Edited by unsinkable, 14 November 2017 - 06:03 PM.

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#62 Lori D.

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 05:24 PM



...I’m not talking about applying to another college with an aid package, but an employment situation down the road...

 

For a job, it's usually not necessary to include the GPA. Just "some college coursework in __(field of study)__ at __(name of college[s])_" works fine for applying to jobs that do not require a college degree.


Edited by Lori D., 14 November 2017 - 05:25 PM.

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#63 Daria

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 05:39 PM

I figured he'd still dorm but in your town. Lots of kids do this. So he'd be close to you as a support person. But not an academic support person, just as a mom.

But if the local colleges don't have the academic supports, I figured you could hire someone. I used to know a woman who was a personal special education counselor to college kids, hired by their parents. The schools (public colleges) and the professors knew about her and were willing to work with her bc she helped their student retention.

LMK and I'll delete the rest of your post. I wanted you to know what I was addressing.

 

I don't think that someone outside can provide the intensity that these programs provide inside.  Not just in terms of hours, but in terms of seamlessness.  For example, last semester my son was in an English class.  The professor gave out a syllabus with dates, but then changed all the dates because things ran behind.  But my son missed writing down the date changes, and the person taking notes for him was busy making changes on their own copy of the syllabus, so they didn't make it into the notes. So, even though I had the syllabus, and thought I was reminding my son in time to make appointments to use his accommodations at the testing center, he didn't actually get to use his extended time, because he didn't make them for the right dates. 

On the other hand, at school we looked at, all the information about testing dates is required to be online (at our CC, they offer it online, but he's never had a professor who has chosen to use it), so an EF coach can help the student go in real time, and look things up.  Plus the EF coach has access to things like scheduling of testing rooms, as opposed to our local CC where you have to go in in person to schedule.  

 

I should note that I'm a special educator, and the difference between what I can do to support a student at my school, where I have lots of "inside" information, and a student who I tutor who goes to a different school, is immense.  So, I sort of imagine that it would be the same thing at college.


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#64 jdahlquist

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 05:46 PM

The money can go to any school, but it needs to go to a school.  So room, board, tuition, supplemental programs for the ADHD.  That kind of thing.  There are no grade stipulations.  It's not changeable, because it's legally tied up, but there's no time limit.  If he didn't use it, then it would be there for his children to use, or theoretically another relative, but he's the only child of his generation.  He's my only kid, my siblings don't have kids, and I don't have first cousins on that side of the family. 

 

His academic skills are pretty average, with a relative strength in reading/writing and a relative weakness in math, which means at the schools we're looking at, that serve mostly kids with LD, he'd be near the top.  His ACT scores are about 7 points higher than the average at most of them.  I think that's a good place for him to be.  He'd need the academics to be easy so he could focus on the mental health piece.  

 

It's not maturity.  I feel like I keep saying that, and people keep missing it.  This has nothing to do with maturity.  

I might not have been clear; I was not saying that I meant that I think maturity is an issue here.  What I was trying to say was a certain level of maturity is necessary--that's a given.  For kids who don't have that waiting will help.  Academic preparation is also a necessity--simply waiting doesn't help that.  So, I was trying to suggest that if maturity is NOT the issue here, delaying college doesn't seem to serve the purpose that some suggest.  



#65 Heigh Ho

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 05:50 PM

He wants to go to "any college", because he knows his options will be very limited.  Insisting on a certain school or school that meets certain criteria would be immature, when realistically he needs to go where he can get in, and where he will get the support needed. So, when I say "Do you want to go to Beacon in Florida, or Landmark in VT? He doesn't say 'Oh, I like warm weather'".  He says "do you think I could get in?  Do they have good supports?  Then I am happy to go there."  That's not immature.

 

As far as social reasons, preferring to live with people your own age, and not with mom, is not a sign of immaturity.  Most adults feel that way.  I don't mean he wants to go to school to party.  I mean he wants to be around other people, do things with other people, rather than being alone the way he is now.  

 

The self direction and EF issues are due to mental illness. Time and age don't improve mental illness they way they do for self direction and EF issues caused by ADHD or adolescence. The assumption that the issues will be better down the road, simply doesn't apply here.  That's what I mean when I say that this isn't "maturity".  That doesn't mean that he doesn't, in many ways, resemble a younger person.  He does.  Likely he always will.  

 Insisting on a school that meets certain criteria is not immature, it is mature.  He particularly needs the criteria of "support available".   I will agree to disagree, no further discussion. 

 

Living with people your own age does not mean college. It can mean military, or several other settings other posters have suggested.   



#66 Daria

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 05:57 PM

 Insisting on a school that meets certain criteria is not immature, it is mature.  He particularly needs the criteria of "support available".   I will agree to disagree, no further discussion. 

 

Living with people your own age does not mean college. It can mean military, or several other settings other posters have suggested.   

 

There is no way this kid is going into the military.  That ship actually sailed by 8 a.m. on his 13th birthday, since the military excludes anyone who takes certain asthma medication on or after your 13th birthday, but even if they changed that policy, there's no way anyone would look at his medical records and hand him a loaded weapon.  Not that I think he'd shoot anyone, but I think that policy is sound.  

 

Other than that I have responded to every suggestion here.  If you have a suggestion, I'd love to hear it, because none of the ones that have been posted have been a fit.  I've given pretty concrete reasons why.  



#67 unsinkable

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 06:02 PM

Daria...I saw your reply. I don't want to quote you again.

Best wishes to you both as you work thru this.

#68 Heigh Ho

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 06:07 PM

There is no way this kid is going into the military.  That ship actually sailed by 8 a.m. on his 13th birthday, since the military excludes anyone who takes certain asthma medication on or after your 13th birthday, but even if they changed that policy, there's no way anyone would look at his medical records and hand him a loaded weapon.  Not that I think he'd shoot anyone, but I think that policy is sound.  

 

Other than that I have responded to every suggestion here.  If you have a suggestion, I'd love to hear it, because none of the ones that have been posted have been a fit.  I've given pretty concrete reasons why.  

 

I am not suggesting going in to the military.  I am using the military as an example of a setting that would have more people his age than the setting he is currently in.  Other people have already suggested more such settings.  The bottom line though, is that one can attend a college and not make many friends.   Adult friends come from shared interests, not from being the same age and not from living next door or in the same college apartment or dorm room. 

 

Is 'wanting to live with more people his age' code for looking for a mate?


Edited by Heigh Ho, 14 November 2017 - 06:15 PM.


#69 Quill

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 06:07 PM

It's definitely what he wants, but we live in an area where going to college is what you do, <snip>

Math is an enormous anxiety trigger for him. <snip> So, I'm concerned that if he takes years off, he won't have the skills to return.


Well, for your last point, he can still go to college later, even if it may mean a good deal of remediation. This was true for me and I had intense math phobia/anxiety in high school. It took the post-high school realization that nothing horrible would happen if I did not perform math flawlessly.

Having said that, I kwym regarding a pro-college local culture. It’s really difficult to zig from that zag, and it’s even harder if it doesn’t appear that you have a well-formed alternative plan.

I ask myself a similar question, too, regarding my approaching-college-age child who sometimes struggles with anxiety and feelings of inferiority. On one hand, I think that experiencing the success of running your life away from your parents, finding a peer group to geow with, and the right kind of support at the right kind of college could all be strong positives for my son. But OTOH, what if it *doesn’t* pan out that way? What if he *doesn’t* experience success, or his peer group is the lowest common denominator because those people make him feel superior, or what if the college itself is not the right environment for him? Then, I fear real damage to his ability to form a good plan for the future and really make a win out of it.

I feel your pain, sista.

Edited by Quill, 14 November 2017 - 06:24 PM.

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#70 ktgrok

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 06:23 PM

We are seriously considering Americorps because it provides a lot of scaffolding but also room to develop leadership, and to feel like you are really accomplishing something important. A friend did it and RAVES. 


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#71 Daria

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 06:50 PM

We are seriously considering Americorps because it provides a lot of scaffolding but also room to develop leadership, and to feel like you are really accomplishing something important. A friend did it and RAVES. 

 

What Americorps options have you found that don't require a college degree?

Locally, all the Americorps programs that I know about work in elementary schools, and require a college degree.  



#72 Scarlett

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 07:10 PM

I can see you are really struggling but I wanted to add that I don't believe it serves a young adult well to finance 'going away ' to college.

I would strongly suggest a trade of some kind while he lives at home. And that could lead to college later...in two or three years when he has demonstrated he can handle more.
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#73 Katy

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 07:26 PM

I don't know how we'd afford that.  

 

He's a very athletic person, but not an outdoorsy person due to pretty severe allergies.  Sleep disruption due to allergies is a major depression/anxiety trigger for him, so I'd worry, but if they had a course in the right climate (e.g. one that's below freezing, or a desert where not a lot blooms) it could be possible.

 

They both have scholarships available, I have a relative that sits on the board for one of them.

 

What Americorps options have you found that don't require a college degree?

Locally, all the Americorps programs that I know about work in elementary schools, and require a college degree.  

 

Here the Habitat for Humanity ReStore volunteers that are younger are mostly Americorps workers.

 

 

ETA: Depending on the degree of help needed, working at a Goodwill store might be a good way to start too.  Lots of scaffolding, understanding for mental health issues, help transitioning to other jobs.

 

ETA2: Scarlett is right, learning a trade and staying home and planning for college in a few years might be a better option for this kid.  Almost all of the unionized trades have starting salaries approaching $15/hour for the apprenticeship phases of the job.  And a few years of hard physical work is almost always a good idea for athletic but drifting young men.


Edited by Katy, 14 November 2017 - 07:29 PM.


#74 WoolySocks

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 07:44 PM

We are seriously considering Americorps because it provides a lot of scaffolding but also room to develop leadership, and to feel like you are really accomplishing something important. A friend did it and RAVES.

I know a kid who had struggles that did great with americorp. It was a perfect next step for him. It is much more structured than most college situations. ETA correction. I was thinking of Job Corp
https://www.jobcorps.gov

I have a freind that attempted to return to college after 15 years. It was really difficult and her options were severely limited. She was forced to start over at a CC and transfer to an open enrollment 4 year after 2 years. The grades really did follow her. I would not be excited to experiment with the money or his future that way.

I would shake up whatever you are doing with mental illness treatment. It’s not working. I have been treated for depression and anxiety and the right combo of drugs and therapy has been life altering. Keep trying. Even if you find the right extremly structured support system in college what happens after college?

Edited by WoolySocks, 14 November 2017 - 08:10 PM.


#75 jdahlquist

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 08:18 PM

What specifics about the "going away to college" is he interested in?  Is it being on his own and being around others his age?  Is it feeling like he is doing what he is supposed to be doing?  Is it that he pictures that as being grown up and independent?  Is he wanting to do something new and different?  

 

Or, is there anything about academics, learning, intellectual inquiry that he likes?  Does any of that inspire or invigorate him?  



#76 Lecka

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 08:28 PM

Honestly, are you very confident about him working full-time hours in a stressful job after he graduates? Is this realistic? Or ---- even if maybe it isn't realistic today -- does it seem realistic a few years from now?

Now -- it could be there would be a lot of built-in structure, consistency, expectations, etc, once he was working as a nurse.

But he may need a lifestyle that is lower stress and..... I have a relative in this situation and it is awkward he is over-educated.

I'm also just a friend of someone with a nursing degree, but when she did her clinicals the schedule was very rigid and demanding. I would look at that, too.

Do you have a professional you can ask what is realistic?

Also have you heard of Clubhouses? If there's one in your area ---- from my understanding they are *great* for keeping people from being home alone, no structure, their sleep schedule getting off, etc, which ---- that starts a whole downward spiral for my cousin, and going to a Clubhouse is very helpful for him.
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#77 Lecka

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 08:34 PM

http://clubhouse-int...ission-history/

This is a link for Clubhouses. It is a really good program for my cousin.

But it might seem like a step back and not a step forward, or it might really, really not be the kind of thing for him.

Edited by Lecka, 14 November 2017 - 08:34 PM.

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#78 lmrich

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 08:36 PM

YMCA of the Rockies has an outstanding Gap semester program. It was a great experience for our son. I also looked into Outward Bound. 

 

Maturity can help when dealing with a mental illness. Another year or 6 months of learning how to live with depression and anxiety, learning how to take care of yourself, learning how to get along with non-family members, learning how manage medications, and work, etc.. is a lot. Once he can manage those things, adding in school will not seem so overwhelming. 


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#79 Lori D.

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 08:49 PM

What Americorps options have you found that don't require a college degree?

Locally, all the Americorps programs that I know about work in elementary schools, and require a college degree.  

 

AmeriCorps has programs all over the country. Is your DS willing/able to live elsewhere? Here is a search page for AmeriCorps Vista partner programs. This allows you to search for positions in different service areas. Clicking on "health", "high school diploma", and jobs that require speaking in "English" came up with this list of 57 positions in over a dozen different U.S. states.

 

To be honest, this is not the season when there will be many options available -- usually the full-time 6-month to 1 year positions *start* in late spring, in the summer, or in August/September, and so the positions aren't listed until about 8-10 weeks before the start date.

 

And, not having skills or certifications in health will be more limiting as to what positions DS is eligible for.

 

 

DS#2 participated in an AmeriCorps Environmental partner program -- American Conservation Experience (ACE). It was very physically demanding trail restoration and invasive species removal work -- 12 hour days for a week at a time, backpacking in and camping on site. He was 22, had done some community college courses for 2 years, worked full time for a year, and saw this as an opportunity to try and forge a path into a new career field for himself. DS saw a lot of younger members (18, 19yo) struggle because it was their first time away from home and they would kind of go nuts -- a lot like a lot of college freshmen who are living away from home for the first time.

 

DS's ACE housing/head quarters was in-state, but out of city, so he did have to get yourself there and back. Most projects provide housing, and then a stipend for food, or, stipend for housing and food. DS's provide housing, and when they were out on the trails ACE provided food, too; when they were "off duty" back at the housing, they used the stipend for buying their own food. DS did not need a car because they were transported to the different wilderness areas where their labor was needed.

 

For something like what your DS would be interested in, there's a good chance that having his own vehicle would be highly recommended or even required, as he may have to drive to different areas to provide health education services as part of his AmeriCorps hours. You don't earn any money with AmeriCorps, but you do come out with some good self-sufficiency skills, networking, and the educational credit for use towards college tuition.

 

I don't know how a newly-graduated high school student who is just learning how to manage mental health concerns would do in an AmeriCorps program that was far from home... And it could be very frustrating to make a long-term commitment (6-12 months), and not be doing what you thought you would be doing. There are short-term (summer) projects as well, so that might be a better way to "dip a toe in the water" of AmeriCorps, if interested.



#80 Daria

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 09:07 PM

Honestly, are you very confident about him working full-time hours in a stressful job after he graduates? Is this realistic? Or ---- even if maybe it isn't realistic today -- does it seem realistic a few years from now?

Now -- it could be there would be a lot of built-in structure, consistency, expectations, etc, once he was working as a nurse.

But he may need a lifestyle that is lower stress and..... I have a relative in this situation and it is awkward he is over-educated.

I'm also just a friend of someone with a nursing degree, but when she did her clinicals the schedule was very rigid and demanding. I would look at that, too.

Do you have a professional you can ask what is realistic?

Also have you heard of Clubhouses? If there's one in your area ---- from my understanding they are *great* for keeping people from being home alone, no structure, their sleep schedule getting off, etc, which ---- that starts a whole downward spiral for my cousin, and going to a Clubhouse is very helpful for him.

 

To be clear, I haven't researched the details of working as a nurse, because I don't think he'd make it through the coursework. I think there's a good chance he could make it through college (I'll stick with the 50/50 stats I offered above), but not in a major that requires no grades below B.  So, my best case scenario would be that by the time the nursing door shuts, he's well enough established that he decides to stay and transfer to a different major.  

The schools we're looking at don't have nursing as a major, with maybe a couple exceptions that would be reaches for him.  So, even if he did better than I expect, the plan would be that he'd either do a 2 year degree in something that covers the prerequisites (e.g. biology or exercise science) and go into a 2 year BSN program, or a 4 year degree, and then do a 15 month conversion program.  

 

I haven't heard of clubhouses.  Looking at the website, it doesn't seem like there's one close to us.  



#81 Storygirl

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 09:38 PM

Landmark has an associate degree in life sciences. I think it would be worth visiting there, if at all possible, in order to see in person what they have to offer. I'm sure they can speak to your concerns about what implications there are for a student who attempts their course work but cannot succeed. Also discuss employment statistics for those who have completed their program.

 

I don't have experience with college selection yet, but I do have a child who attends a private school for children with LDs, and the structure they provide is so different than a typical school. Landmark may have the kind of scaffolding that your son needs to achieve his goal.

 

My brother flunked out of college the first time and returned at a later age for an accounting degree and earned his CPA. So there is some hope for a second chance, if the first trial of college is not successful.

 

Normally, I would say not to send a student away to college if he has not been able to succeed at CC while living at home. But in this case, since funding is available, I think the risk may be worth considering, if he is willing to go to Landmark, or somewhere like it.



#82 Suzanne in ABQ

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 09:38 PM

My middle son just started at Full Sail. Do you know how well their graduates fare? Until he started there, I had never heard of it.

 

 

They do very well. My husband is an adjunct professor there...he works in Cyber Security by day and at night, every other month, teaches a course there. He's been VERY impressed with how well the graduates do...they have a week where alumni return and the number who are working actively in film/music/etc is amazing. 

 

It's expensive as all get out, but well looked at in the art/film/music world. 

 

 

Thanks Katie.  It was so comforting to me last year to know you were nearby, and that your dh teaches at Full Sail.  It added legitimacy to the school, since so much of it seemed too good to be true.  I'm happy to say that my son has never worked harder, or achieved more satisfaction in his work, as he has at FS.  I'm excited to see what he does with himself when he finishes in May.

 

I was going to say that the graduates who expect to have a job/career handed to them upon graduation will be disappointed.  Full Sail teaches them how to work really hard, and includes courses that teach them how to market themselves and navigate the industry.  It gives them the skills they need to do well.  But, they will have to work hard to make it in the competitive industry.  How they do will depend on them, working hard to be everywhere, so that they can be at the right place at the right time.  

 

I would say, though, that it's not really that expensive.  Sure, our son's degree is priced at $75000, plus room/board, which seems high on the surface.  But, he will be finished with his bachelor of science degree after only 20 months, compared to 45 months minimum for a traditional 4-year degree.  And, he was awarded over $20K in scholarships and 9 credit hours of transfer credit (from dual credit courses he took for free in high school).  So, he'll end up paying about $48K in tuition for a bachelor's degree, and we're only paying room and board for 20 months, instead of 4 years.  I wouldn't call that expensive.  I'd call it a bargain!  Of course, not everyone will have the discounts he was able to get, but even still, $75K total for a BS degree isn't all that expensive.  (Many private colleges cost that much per *year*).  


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#83 Lori D.

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 10:11 PM

...I haven't researched the details of working as a nurse, because I don't think he'd make it through the coursework. I think there's a good chance he could make it through college (I'll stick with the 50/50 stats I offered above), but not in a major that requires no grades below B...

 

If interested in a medical field, check out some of the AAS (Applied Associate's of Science) degrees that only take 2 years to complete and do not require "no grades below a B":

 

- Occupational Therapy Assistant

- Physical Therapy Assistant

- Radiation Therapist

- Respiratory Therapist

- Sonography Technician

- Radiology Technician

 

 

PS -- ETA:

Daria: And since a community college likely won't have the same high-support program that the particular 4-year university you mentioned earlier, does the college have any 4-year degrees in these types of less stressful medical areas that your DS might be interested in? BEST of luck! Warmest regards, Lori D.


Edited by Lori D., 15 November 2017 - 12:50 AM.

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#84 kiana

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 10:38 PM

If interested in a medical field, check out some of the AAS (Applied Associate's of Science) degrees that only take 2 years to complete and do not require "no grades below a B":

 

- Occupational Therapy Assistant

- Physical Therapy Assistant

- Radiation Therapist

- Respiratory Therapist

- Sonography Technician

- Radiology Technician

 

Oh, that is a great call, I could picture someone who's interested in fitness and a caring young man being a great PT assistant.


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#85 Lori D.

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 12:42 AM

Oh, that is a great call, I could picture someone who's interested in fitness and a caring young man being a great PT assistant.

 

And, it can be a stepping stone job, if the student ends up really loving one of these fields. :) Either work and save and then quit to attend classes to complete a degree. Or, many hospitals have tuition reimbursement programs, or programs that make it easy to schedule hours, so students can continue to work part time for the hospital and attend classes to get a degree.


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#86 Catwoman

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 12:57 AM

None of the local colleges have the kind of support that the schools we're looking at have. He clearly doesn't have the skills to be successful at our local CC. It's not the academic skills that he's missing. His academics aren't amazing, but they're solid enough. It's the problem solving and self advocacy. For example, he currently has an issue that he needs to meet with his disability counselor about at the CC, but the process for making an appointment with the disability counselor is so complicated that it took him a week to figure it out, and she books appointments a week in advance. So, there will be 2 weeks between me figuring out there was a problem and asking him to make the appointment, and him getting help. Meanwhile, because his anxiety about the unsolved problem is so high, he's having trouble making it to a class where attendance is a big part of the grade. So, even if he solves the initial problem, now he's got a new problem.

At the programs we'd be looking at, students meet every single day with a disability counselor/coach. That's a huge difference.

I think he's much more likely to be successful in college if he goes away, then if he stays home. So the question is really go away, or don't go to college at all.


Have you visited the schools you're considering to see if they might be a good fit for your son? Colleges can look amazing on paper, but when you get there and meet some of the people and hear their experiences, you often find that things aren't the way you expected them to be.

I would be particularly concerned in your son's case, because you need to be sure that he would actually be getting all of the personalized support that is advertised.

Also, is there any way for him to take some classes over the summer (at whichever school you choose) to see how it goes before you commit to paying for an entire school year? Or do they offer any courses over the winter break that he could try?

Also, please check on whether or not the students at these colleges are getting jobs after graduation. I don't know how challenging the academics are because I'm not familiar with the schools, but I'm assuming the courses are just like at any other college and the only difference is in the amount of personal assistance and guidance the students receive to help them succeed. But if any of the schools have a reputation for being "too easy," I would pass on those because it might be hard to find employment or get accepted into graduate school after graduation.
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#87 Tap

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 11:34 AM

I think a lot of it has to do with how his mental health and anxiety affect his every day living.

 

Is he is the type to get stressed out because he forgot to write a paper and shuts down? Does he get overwhelmed with work, so he hides in video games or sleeps all day?   Then I would suspect going away to college will make this worse, not better.

 

Is he the type to just not care and have a bunch of zeros on the grade book? But can still go to class, learn and just do intermittent work?  This is the situation where I think someone could turn it around and make it.  But he will have to know what works for him and take some skills with him. Like actualy using a planner. Understanding a syllabus and putting due dates on a calendar. etc  Even if it is an agreement with him, that you will Skype and have a once a week, scheduling meeting with him to check in on his progress. 

 

Does he try to do good work, but gets lots of missed points for forgetting details.  ie, he writes the paper but forgets to do the bibliography?  Does he make simple mistakes like missing a question on a scantron, and gets the answer rows off so he fails on material he actually knows?  Those are things that disability services and tutoring supports can help with. 

 

Does he have holes in his knowledge that could hold him back?  Does he get bored in class and checkout mentally, only to find that he missed important material while he was zoning out?  Many college textbooks have online components that people forget are there.  They often have links and explanations to material, that if the college student actually uses, can fill in some gaps. There are lots of basic tutorials on line like Khan Academy and Youtube if he is willing to use them.  Those do require willpower and determination to find and sit through, but the content is there if he wants it. 

 

I can totally understand you saying it isn't a maturity issue.  To me, it is more of a life experience issue.  Is he ready for this experience and can he be successful while he is there, taking his current "tool box" of life skills and struggles with him?  That will be very hard for anyone to gauge.  All I know is that if he is the type to shut down and hide when he is stressed, I wouldn't send him.  There are too many other opportunities in the world than to send him into a situation that will inevitably crush him. 

 

 

I have 3 kids, 2 in college. 3 different experiences with MI and LD.

 

DS23 has 2 BA and will have his MA in May.  It will also be completely paid off with zero debt. He has ADHD and struggled at different times in his life.  He is gifted and while school has never been hard for him, he has a high standard for himself. He went straight into local college out of high school.  One term in school about his Junior year, his grades dropped to a C, and he lost his academic scholarship for a term.  It was very, very hard on him, but it was the catalyst he needed to go into counseling and to deal with some family things he was avoiding.  That rough semester, was the turning point of his education and life. He was living at home and that was also good for him, in the sense that he had emotional support, didn't have bills and food to think about while putting his education back on track.  I think his current GPA for his Masters is a 4pt.  He is a classic example of a kid who faltered and then rebounded stronger than ever.  A big part of that, is that he had the skills to do the work.  What he was struggling with, was will power, time management and his mind getting caught up on things that were uncomfortable, so he hid in video games to avoid reality.  He is really good at video games, so it was a happy place for him, when reality wasn't happy.  Unfortunately, homework and studying weren't getting done and his grades suffered. Once he decided to make the shift, it wasn't easy but he did it and came out stronger in the end.

 

DD19 can not go away to college.  She has a health issue and when she gets stressed out, her health issue gets worse and she will crawl into bed and not come out. While it is a physical health issue, it is much like someone who has a mental health one. When she starts to feel better, it is a bit of a road to recovery, so she can't just power through and get caught up very fast.  She is taking 2 college classes right now and doing just OK with a B, but she is working hard for that B. She is trying but I can see the toll they are taking on her at the same time.  She had Very high academic goals, but he body isn't cooperating with her.  It is hard to see her struggle with a physical illness holding her back, when she is so bright and capable of amazing things. There is no way going away to college would be something that would be a positive place for her physical health.  There are too many things that can go wrong, too fast for her to be safe at this time. 

 

DD10 has such huge gaps in her learning that I don't know if she will be able to get through highschool, and she is only in elementary school.  Her mental health issues have really caused problems for her academically and whenever she gets stressed out or frustrated, she gets angry and avoids all work.  She can't really go back and finish, without instant anger flares. We have to wait and see what will happen when we reintroduce concepts later.  She is in 5th grade and only doing 2nd grade work due to her instant anger at frustration. She has special teachers and supports, but it is hard to fight biology. 


Edited by Tap, 15 November 2017 - 11:37 AM.

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#88 GoodGrief

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 04:03 PM

My son-in-law took a "Preparing for College" course at the community college before he plunged back into a regular schedule of classes. I think it covered things like taking notes, various success strategies, and it did seem to help him. Maybe something like that would be a good overview for your son, to see if college is really something he wants to do next year?


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#89 Terabith

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 11:53 PM

I will be the voice of dissent. 

 

In GENERAL, I would say that he doesn't sound like a kid who should go away to school.  However, in SPECIFIC, I think it's probably worth it to try for a semester at one of the specialized schools for kids with learning disabilities, where his ACT scores are approximately 7 points above average, and there is significant support and scaffolding. 

 

He MIGHT crash and burn.  But these types of programs (I've looked at them pretty extensively because of my younger daughter's issues) really try to minimize the likelihood of that.  If they have people who can help prevent the anxiety crash and burn, and he's in a situation where he's not hanging around all by himself for large portions of the day, I think he's got a decent chance of success.  Not a guarantee.  But he wants to try; the money is there; waiting is not likely to improve his chances of success and actually likely to decrease them, due to time off.......  I say go for it.



#90 luuknam

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 12:29 AM

I haven't read everything, but in case it hasn't been mentioned... flunking out of courses can lead to excessive hours, at which point your tuition rate goes way up (to something similar to out of state tuition while being in state). That's not fun, especially when you finally have your stuff together but can't get student loans (because of excessive hours) and your relatives don't have more cash to throw at you either. 


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#91 shawthorne44

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 10:53 AM

If he can't handle a local community college while living at home, I wouldn't send him away to even a university with supports.  

 

One idea would be for him to find a job as a Home Health Companion, and do MOOC's to keep his brain in gear.  My MIL is a Home Health Companion.  She was hired because she'd helped care for her grandmother as a teen in their home.  She was picked as a regular for this nice old lady because she makes a mean cup of tea.  She worked 24/7 for a week, then off for a week.  Someone able to lift the biggest patients and willing to cheerfully wipe the patients butt on the toilet is very desirable.  


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